For a while now, we've been aware of an unreleased keyboard theme, shown off in screenshots of Google Chrome on the Play Store. Today, the Android 5.0 Lollipop developer preview brought us Google Keyboard 4.0 that carries both the Material Light and Dark themes. There's really not much to say about the themes that can't be communicated in images - they are similar to the keyboard included in the original dev preview, but now there's a light theme.
We've been waiting on a big update to Google's search app, having seen screenshots here and there that hinted at an updated design. With today's new Lollipop developer preview, the Google app's 4.0 incarnation was made available. We've got a download at the bottom of the post, but be sure to read the instructions first as getting this up and running on pre-L devices requires some extra fiddling. Also, you'll need to be rooted.
Of course, as I have to pick up my son from daycare, breaking news had to hit, and Google had to start pushing out the Play Store 5.0 update (5.0.31, to be exact). We'll start looking at every corner in just a bit. In the meantime, a few things are immediately obvious. One, it looks like the app in our exclusive early look from mid-September.
HTC has detailed an over-the-air update for the Sprint version of the One M7 that rolls out what the company refers to as "Google security fixes." This is vague in the usual carrier-provided-update-way, but folks over in the Sprint Community have reported some more specific changes. Users who install this update should no longer see the annoying "Smith Disabled" notification that appears after every reboot. The default flashlight app has apparently also been replaced by an LED flash app.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
Update: the app has been pulled from the Play Store, presumably because of the "Chrome" name. You can now find it under the name ARChon Packager.
Earlier this month, Google officially made it possible to run a handful of Android apps on Chrome OS. Hardly a week later, a developer came along and produced a means of running theoretically any Android app within Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Chromebooks).
We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issues which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, what's more immediately striking is the new visual redesign.
With the amount of smudging this post required, I feel like I've been working on classified documents. The new version of Hangouts plasters your email address absolutely everywhere. It's not an issue when using the app, but it does make for some rather swirly screenshots.
Update: Hangouts 2.3 is now rolling out to devices in stages. If you rather not wait, we can help you download it manually. And as it turns out, this Dialer just links to a tab within the new Hangouts app. It is not a separate, standalone piece of software.
Hangout's Google Voice integration is finally happening. We started seeing functionality merge into Hangouts overnight, but there remain a few kinks to work out that we're hoping an upcoming app update will fix.
There's a reason major device updates tend to roll out in stages. Some of the earlier recipients of the OnePlus One's big July OTA were hit with a bug where the PIN unlock screen did not display properly. OnePlus hasn't wasted any time hopping on this issue, and they're now pushing out a hotfix to the limited people who received the first OTA already and those who have flashed manually.